La Gomera is in the Canary Islands archipelago remaining relatively obscured by the glare of its larger neighbour – Tenerife. The crowds seem to be drawn to the larger Canary Islands. In this instance, small is not only beautiful but a blessing.
Geography has been kind to La Gomera. The vestigial volcano rises dramatically out of the Atlantic to a height of nearly 5,000ft. The island is a mere 15 miles across but seems to possess more microclimates than a continent. At its heart is a cloud forest – luxuriant, green, dense – while down at the coast you find another world of deep canyons, date palms and desert.
Tourists also arrive by ship. The ferry between Los Cristianos and La Gomera's capital, San Sebastian, is the main conduit to the island and is quick, just 40 minutes.
The resulting state of grace allows La Gomera to conduct life at its own unhurried pace. While tourists are clearly important to the economy, the island has not sold its soul. Most of La Gomera is serenely untouched by industrial tourism. Playa Santiago for example lies on the south coast, which boasts the highest sunshine hours on the island and is just minutes from the airport. Nevertheless it remains, by and large, the fishing port it always was.